Rwanda first in EAC to have overland busses equipped with wireless internet

RWANDA LIVES UP TO BEING EAST AFRICA’S BEST CONNECTED COUNTRY

(Posted 10th July 2013)

Rwanda’s reputation to being East Africa’s most tech savvy country and the best connected country took a further boost, when it was learned that the Jaguar bus company, based in Kigali, has started to equip their entire fleet with routers, permitting speeds of up to 21.6 MB per second.

Only a few weeks ago did Safaricom of Kenya launch wireless internet mini routers for matatus and dozens have already installed the gadget in their commuter vehicles, but it was learned only belatedly that right at that time was Jaguar already having the same rollout underway.

The fleet of busses is operating on the route from Kigali to Kampala and back and this latest innovation will go a long way to keep passengers connected, allow tweeting of journey updates, post pictures from enroute, stay in touch with friends and family and, should it be needed, send emergency requests via the wireless connection to for instance alert medical personell of someone needed urgent attention at the next major town.

This added feature on Jaguar coaches will undoubtedly spur a wave of installation on the fleet of rival companies, across East Africa, where thousands of wananchi travel every day by bus to their final destinations, even on very long journeys which now connect cities as far apart as Dar es Salaam with Kampala or Mombasa, via Nairobi and Kampala to Kigali. Going by an article written by this correspondent for the current edition The Eye Magazine which is published, and distributed for free, in Kampala (http://www.theeye.co.ug/explore.htm) more and more budget travellers from overseas are taking to such methods of overland travel, in part because airfares between the member countries of the EAC remain high and beyond reach for many of them and in part because it avails the opportunity to meet wananchi, interact with them and see the country side while travelling by road. The introduction of wireless internet connection on overland buses will therefore be a welcome feature as these folks will tweet and post Facebook messages along the way, wherever they travel to, promoting in fact our countries through the social media. Congrats to Jaguar for pioneering this feature.

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